National 3 Peaks Challenge
National 3 Peaks Challenge
Price: From £695
Mountains: Ben Nevis 1345m/ Snowdon Yr Wyddfa 1085m/ Scafell Pike 978m
Difficulty: Extremely Challenging +++
Distance: 23 miles (37 km)
Total height: 3064m
Time: 24 hours/ 3 Days
The National Three Peaks are Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike & Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa), the highest mountains in Scotland, England and Wales. The total walking distance is 37km (23 miles) which includes a total ascent of 3064m. In addition, there is 462 miles of driving between the peaks.
National 3 Peaks Challenge
About the National Three Peaks Challenge
We offer a fully bespoke service on a date of your choice and cater for all group sizes. Please contact us with your date, group size and requirements (accommodation, transport etc.) and we will get back to you with an individual quote. Prices start at £695.
What is the National Three Peaks Challenge?
The National Three Peaks are the highest summits in Scotland, England and Wales (Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike & Snowdon/ Yr Wyddfa). The Challenge is to complete all three mountains within 24 hours or 3 days.
Who is this challenge ideal for?
The 24-hour challenge is suitable for very fit individuals and teams who are able to walk at a fast pace with limited breaks. Each mountain has to be completed within 4 (Scafell Pike & Snowdon) or 5 (Ben Nevis) hours up and down.
The 3-day challenge is perfect for people who can walk at a reasonable pace for 7-8 hours, with much of this being uphill. You will have all day to complete each mountain, so this is done at a leisurely pace.
To see if you are ready for the 24-hour challenge or 3-day challenge, organise a training walk with us. This will give us the opportunity to see how mountain fit you are and give you a chance to test your kit & food and make the necessary tweaks before starting the challenge.
What equipment will you need?
We will send you a detailed kit list upon booking and again shortly before the event.
Normal hiking gear is needed, and this varies a little depending on the time of year and the forecasts on the day. Items that are always required include walking boots/ walking shoes, a waterproof jacket and a rucksack.
We can give you advice about what to buy when you have booked one of our walks.
Typical itinerary - 24 hours
The 24-hour National Three Peaks Challenge includes climbing all of the mountains and driving from peak to peak, all within 24 hours.
To achieve this, the timeframe will look like this...
0 hours - Ben Nevis (5 hours up and down)
5 hours - Drive to Scafell Pike (6 hour drive)
11 hours - Scafell Pike (4 hours up and down)
15 hours - Drive to Snowdon (5 hour drive)
20 hours - Snowdon (4 hours up and down)
24 hours - Complete the challenge
This itinerary is a guide. It is subject to change based on viability, participant fitness, weather conditions or any reason the guide may deem necessary for safety reasons.
Typical itinerary - 3 Days
This is perfect for individuals and groups who want a leisurely walk up the tallest mountains in each country. It allows time to enjoy the spectacular views during daylight.
Day 1: Ben Nevis
Meet guide(s) near Fort William and walk up Ben Nevis at a comfortable pace. Drive to the Lake District (6-hour drive).
Day 2: Scafell Pike
Daytime ascent up Scafell Pike at a comfortable pace (usually around 5-6 hours). Drive to Snowdonia (5 hours).
Day 3: Snowdon/ Yr Wyddfa
Climb the final mountain; Snowdon, at a suitable walking pace.
What is included?
Our bespoke service is flexible allowing you to choose the level of service that's best for you.
All options include...
A fully qualified and experienced Mountain Leader for each mountain
Support before, during and after your challenge
Group safety equipment/ first aid kit and first aider
Professional Liability Insurance
In addition to this we can also organise accommodation and transport at an additional cost.
We can take some of the hassle out of the experience and organise overnight accommodation for you. Get in touch for more info.
Take on the challenge and book with us today
We organise bespoke National Three Peaks challenges for groups and individuals who want the best chance of completing the challenge in under 24 hours/ 3 days.
Our success-focused approach allows you to tailor make your own challenge to suit your needs and budget.
Prices start at £695 for small groups.
Simply get in touch for a quote.
What is the National 3 Peaks order?
The National Three Peaks can be completed in any order. Most groups do the challenge north to south, starting on Ben Nevis in Scotland. They then head south to Scafell Pike and finish on Snowdon/ Yr Wyddfa, which is the easiest mountain so usually saved until last.
Does the National three peaks challenge cover some of the highest mountains in the UK?
The National Three Peaks challenge is the highest mountain in each of the three countries on the British mainland; Scotland, England and Wales.
A popular misconception is that they are the highest mountains in the UK. They aren't! The three highest mountains in the UK are all in Scotland; Ben Nevis (1345m), Ben Macdui (1309m) and Braeriach (1296m).
Snowdon is the 76th highest mountain in the UK and the highest outside of Scotland. Scafell Pike is the 257th highest mountain in the UK.
Can I bring my dog to the National Three Peaks Challenge?
Fit dogs are able to complete the three day challenge. The 24-hour challenge isn't suitable for dogs because of the hiking and driving distance.
How long does it take to drive National 3 peaks?
There is a total of around 11 hours of driving between the mountains that make up the National Three Peaks. This includes 6 hours between Ben Nevis and Scafell Pike and around 5 hours from Scafell Pike to Snowdon/ Yr Wyddfa.
This assumes a good run, and these times obviously increase if you hit traffic. Traffic is one of the major reasons for the failure of the 24-hour National Three Peaks Challenge, even for the fittest teams.
You will also need to get to and from Ben Nevis and Snowdon. This isn't included in the timed 'challenge'.
What happens if I don't finish the challenge within 24 hours?
The National Three Peaks is a tough mountain challenge, and many groups don't complete it within 24 hours. This is usually because either: they are not fit enough, because of an injury, traffic problems. If you manage to climb all of the mountains in one push, that is still an impressive achievement.
Do you need a driver for the 3 peaks?
For safety reasons, you should have a dedicated driver who won't be walking with you to drive between the mountains.
If you're unable to recruit a driver, this is something we can organise for you.
Can you do the 3 Peaks on your own?
People with good map reading skills and a dedicated driver who won't be hiking can do the National Three Peaks Challenge solo or as a small self-guided group.
You will be hiking on rough mountain terrain in the dark, so you will need to be proficient at navigating in these conditions in this terrain.
Is Snowdon harder than Ben Nevis?
All of the mountains in the National Three Peaks are challenging, but Snowdon/ Yr Wyddfa is less difficult than Ben Nevis because it is smaller with less ascent.
Is Snowdon harder than Scafell Pike?
Although Scafell Pike is the smallest peak on the challenge, the ascent is steep and on difficult terrain. The summit plateau is particularly rocky and rough. These factors make it more difficult than Snowdon.
How hard is 3 Peaks in 24 hours?
Really tough! You will need an excellent level of cardiovascular fitness to climb three of the highest mountains in the UK in an average time of around 4.5 hours. You will need to do this three times with very little sleep and rest, so you will also need exceptional levels of endurance.
In addition to this, you will need to be lucky not to get stuck in traffic and not get injured as this can pose significant logistical issues!
How fit do you need to be to do the 3 Peaks Challenge?
To do the Challenge in under 24 hours, you and your team will need to be very fit! You will need a high level of cardiovascular fitness to get up and down each mountain in around 4.5 hours. As a rough idea, if you can run 10k in under an hour, then you stand a good chance.
You will also need the endurance to walk for around 13 hours on rough terrain in a day.
People with a reasonable level of fitness can complete the challenge over 3 days.
To get a good idea of your level of mountain fitness, ideally, we suggest you do another similar challenge, such as the Welsh 3 Peaks Challenge. Alternatively, you should climb at least one big mountain to give you a good idea of what's involved, how you cope and how quickly you complete it.
What training should I do?
Training focusing on improving cardiovascular fitness, such as running, is best. The stair machine in the gym is a good way to recreate the challenges imposed on the body when climbing a mountain.
Training endurance by going on long runs or walks will help prepare your legs for the hours of exertion demanded by this challenge.
Best time of the year to do the 3 Peaks Challenge?
24-hour challenges are best as close to the summer equinox (20 or 21st June) as possible. This allows for more daylight hours hiking and also likely better weather than other seasons.
3-day challenges are more flexible. Ben Nevis is usually covered in snow until late spring, and the Lake District and Snowdonia can experience snow into May. April - October are the best months.